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Title: Historical Record of the Twelfth, or The Prince of Wales's Royal Regiment of Lancers - Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in - 1715, and of its subsequent services to 1848.
Author: Cannon, Richard
Language: English
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  _1st January, 1836_.

His Majesty has been pleased to command, that, with a view of doing
the fullest justice to Regiments, as well as to Individuals who
have distinguished themselves by their Bravery in Action with the
Enemy, an Account of the Services of every Regiment in the British
Army shall be published under the superintendence and direction
of the Adjutant-General; and that this Account shall contain the
following particulars, viz.,

  ---- The Period and Circumstances of the Original Formation of
  the Regiment; The Stations at which it has been from time to time
  employed; The Battles, Sieges, and other Military Operations,
  in which it has been engaged, particularly specifying any
  Achievement it may have performed, and the Colours, Trophies,
  &c., it may have captured from the Enemy.

  ---- The Names of the Officers and the number of Non-Commissioned
  Officers and Privates, Killed or Wounded by the Enemy, specifying
  the Place and Date of the Action.

  ---- The Names of those Officers, who, in consideration of their
  Gallant Services and Meritorious Conduct in Engagements with the
  Enemy, have been distinguished with Titles, Medals, or other
  Marks of His Majesty's gracious favour.

  ---- The Names of all such Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers
  and Privates as may have specially signalized themselves in


  ---- The Badges and Devices which the Regiment may have been
  permitted to bear, and the Causes on account of which such Badges
  or Devices, or any other Marks of Distinction, have been granted.

  By Command of the Right Honourable



The character and credit of the British Army must chiefly depend
upon the zeal and ardour, by which all who enter into its service
are animated, and consequently it is of the highest importance that
any measure calculated to excite the spirit of emulation, by which
alone great and gallant actions are achieved, should be adopted.

Nothing can more fully tend to the accomplishment of this desirable
object, than a full display of the noble deeds with which the
Military History of our country abounds. To hold forth these bright
examples to the imitation of the youthful soldier, and thus to
incite him to emulate the meritorious conduct of those who have
preceded him in their honourable career, are among the motives that
have given rise to the present publication.

The operations of the British Troops are, indeed, announced in the
"London Gazette," from whence they are transferred into the public
prints: the achievements of our armies are thus made known at the
time of their occurrence, and receive the tribute of praise and
admiration to which they are entitled. On extraordinary occasions,
the Houses of Parliament have been in the habit of conferring on
the Commanders, and the Officers and Troops acting under their
orders, expressions of approbation and of thanks for their skill
and bravery, and these testimonials, confirmed by the high honour
of their Sovereign's Approbation, constitute the reward which the
soldier most highly prizes.

It has not, however, until late years, been the practice (which
appears to have long prevailed in some of the Continental armies)
for British Regiments to keep regular records of their services
and achievements. Hence some difficulty has been experienced in
obtaining, particularly from the old Regiments, an authentic
account of their origin and subsequent services.

This defect will now be remedied, in consequence of His Majesty
having been pleased to command, that every Regiment shall in future
keep a full and ample record of its services at home and abroad.

From the materials thus collected, the country will henceforth
derive information as to the difficulties and privations which
chequer the career of those who embrace the military profession. In
Great Britain, where so large a number of persons are devoted to
the active concerns of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and
where these pursuits have, for so long a period, been undisturbed
by the _presence of war_, which few other countries have escaped,
comparatively little is known of the vicissitudes of active
service, and of the casualties of climate, to which, even during
peace, the British Troops are exposed in every part of the globe,
with little or no interval of repose.

In their tranquil enjoyment of the blessings which the country
derives from the industry and the enterprise of the agriculturist
and the trader, its happy inhabitants may be supposed not often to
reflect on the perilous duties of the soldier and the sailor,--on
their sufferings,--and on the sacrifice of valuable life, by which
so many national benefits are obtained and preserved.

The conduct of the British Troops, their valour, and endurance,
have shone conspicuously under great and trying difficulties; and
their character has been established in Continental warfare by the
irresistible spirit with which they have effected debarkations in
spite of the most formidable opposition, and by the gallantry and
steadiness with which they have maintained their advantages against
superior numbers.

In the official Reports made by the respective Commanders, ample
justice has generally been done to the gallant exertions of the
Corps employed; but the details of their services, and of acts of
individual bravery, can only be fully given in the Annals of the
various Regiments.

These Records are now preparing for publication, under His
Majesty's special authority, by Mr. RICHARD CANNON, Principal Clerk
of the Adjutant-General's Office; and while the perusal of them
cannot fail to be useful and interesting to military men of every
rank, it is considered that they will also afford entertainment and
information to the general reader, particularly to those who may
have served in the Army, or who have relatives in the Service.

There exists in the breasts of most of those who have served,
or are serving, in the Army, an _Esprit de Corps_--an attachment
to every thing belonging to their Regiment; to such persons a
narrative of the services of their own Corps cannot fail to prove
interesting. Authentic accounts of the actions of the great,--the
valiant,--the loyal, have always been of paramount interest with
a brave and civilized people. Great Britain has produced a race
of heroes who, in moments of danger and terror, have stood, "firm
as the rocks of their native shore;" and when half the World has
been arrayed against them, they have fought the battles of their
Country with unshaken fortitude. It is presumed that a record of
achievements in war,--victories so complete and surprising, gained
by our countrymen,--our brothers,--our fellow-citizens in arms,--a
record which revives the memory of the brave, and brings their
gallant deeds before us, will certainly prove acceptable to the

Biographical memoirs of the Colonels and other distinguished
Officers, will be introduced in the Records of their respective
Regiments, and the Honorary Distinctions which have, from time to
time, been conferred upon each Regiment, as testifying the value
and importance of its services, will be faithfully set forth.

As a convenient mode of Publication, the Record of each Regiment
will be printed in a distinct number, so that when the whole shall
be completed, the Parts may be bound up in numerical succession.









  IN 1715,














  EGYPT IN 1801;



  18TH OF JUNE, 1815.


  Year                                                           Page

  1715  Formation of the Regiment                                   9

  ----  Names of Officer                                           10

  ----  Rebellion of the Earl of Mar                               11

  1718  The Regiment embarks for Ireland                           --

  1751  Description of the Uniform and Guidons                     13

  1768  Styled the _Prince of Wales's Regiment_                    15

  ----  Constituted a corps of _Light Dragoons_                    16

  1784  Uniform changed from Scarlet to _Blue_                     --

  1793  Embarks for the Mediterranean                              17

  ----  Capture of the Island of Corsica                           18

  1794  Stationed in Italy--Approbation of Pope Pius VI.           --

  1795  Embarks for England                                        20

  1796  Proceeds to Portugal                                       --

  1800  Embarks for the Mediterranean                              21

  1801  Lands in Egypt                                             22

  ----  Battle of Alexandria                                       --

  ----  Capture of a French Convoy in the Lybian Desert            25

  ----  ---------- Cairo and Alexandria                            27

  1802  Returns to England                                         28

  ----  Embarks for Ireland                                        29

  1805  Returns to England                                         --

  1809  Expedition to Walcheren                                    --

  ----  Returns to England                                         30

  1811  Embarks for Portugal                                       --

  ----  Blockade of Ciudad Rodrigo                                 --

  1812  Covering the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo                       31

  ----  --------------------- Badajoz                              --

  ----  Skirmish at Usagre--Action at Llerena                      32

  ----  Action at Castrejon                                        34

  ----  Battle of Salamanca                                        35

  ----  Covering the Siege of Burgos-Castle                        37

  ----  Skirmishes at Monasterio                                   --

  ----  Covering the Retreat at Burgos                             --

  1813  Battle of Vittoria                                         39

  ----  Skirmishes at Villa Franca and Tolosa                      40

  ----  Covering the Siege of St. Sebastian                        41

  ----  Passage of the Bidassoa                                    42

  ----  Battle of the Nivelle                                      --

  1814  Passage of the Adour--Blockade of Bayonne                  43

  ----  Marches to Bordeaux--Skirmish at Etoliers                  44

  ----  Returns to England                                         --

  1815  Embarks for Flanders                                       46

  ----  Battle of Quatre Bras                                      47

  ----  Battle of Waterloo                                         48

  ----  Names of the Officers who received Medals                  58

  ----  Advances to Paris                                          --

  ----  Forms part of the Army of Occupation in France             59

  ----  Constituted a corps of "_Lancers_"                         --

  1817  Rewarded with the title of the _Twelfth, or Prince
            of Wales's, Royal Lancers_                             --

  1818  Returns to England                                         60

  1820  Embarks for Ireland                                        61

  1824  Returns to England                                         --

  1826  Embarks for Portugal                                       63

  1828  Returns to England                                         64

  1829  Proceeds to Scotland                                       --

  1830  Embarks for Ireland                                        --

  ----  Resumes wearing _Scarlet_ Clothing                         --

  1833  Returns to England                                         --

  1837  Reviewed by the Queen, Victoria                            65

  1838  Her Majesty's Coronation                                   66

  1839  His Royal Highness the Prince George of Cambridge
            attached to the Regiment                               --

  1840  Embarks for Ireland                                        67

  1842  Resumes wearing _Blue_ Clothing                            --

  ----  The Conclusion                                             68


  1715  Phineas Bowles                                             69

  1719  Phineas Bowles                                             70

  1740  Alexander Rose                                             --

  1743  Samuel Walter Whitshed                                     --

  1746  Thomas Bligh                                               71

  1747  Sir John Mordaunt, K.B.                                    72

  1749  Honorable James Cholmondeley                               73

  1749  Lord George Sackville                                      74

  1750  Sir John Whitefoord, Baronet                               75

  1763  Edward Harvey                                              76

  1764  Benjamin Carpenter                                         77

  1770  William Augustus Pitt                                      --

  1775  Honorable William Keppel                                   78

  1782  Honorable George Lane Parker                               79

  1791  Sir James Steuart, Baronet                                 79

  1815  Sir William Payne, Baronet                                 81

  1825  Sir Colquhoun Grant, K.C.B., K.C.H.                        82

  1827  Sir R. H. Vivian, Baronet, now Lord Vivian, K.C.B., G.C.H. 84

  1837  Sir H. J. Cumming, K.C.H.                                  --

[Illustration: Twelfth, The Prince of Wales's Royal Lancers.]








[Sidenote: 1715]

On the 20th of January, 1715, King George I. proceeded in state to
St. Paul's Cathedral, to return thanks for his peaceful accession
to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland; but in a short time
afterwards the tranquillity of the kingdom was disturbed by the
rash proceedings of the adherents of the Stuart dynasty, who were
conspiring to elevate the Pretender to the throne, in which they
were abetted by the courts of Louis XIV. of France and of other
foreign potentates. These proceedings occasioned the army to be
augmented, and in July, 1715, Brigadier-General PHINEAS BOWLES,--a
warm-hearted loyalist, distinguished for his attachment to the
house of Hanover,--who had acquired a reputation at the head of
a regiment in the war of the Spanish succession, was commissioned
to raise a corps of cavalry in the counties of Berks, Bucks, and
Hants, having his general rendezvous at Reading.

His Majesty's appeal to his subjects was cheerfully responded to,
and a number of loyalists coming forward to hazard their lives in
defence of their King and constitution, Brigadier-General Bowles
was soon at the head of a regiment of six troops, which, having
been continued in the service to the present time, now bears the

The following officers were appointed to commissions in the


  Phineas Bowles, _Col._
  T. Strickland, _Lt.Col._
  J. Orfeur, _Major_
  John Pierson
  Giles Stevens
  John Prideaux


  W. Wills, _Capt.Lt._
  William Bourden
  Christopher Bland
  James Baker
  John Johnson
  Hugh Hilton


  William Pomfret
  Thomas Johnson
  Richard Hull
  William Pierce
  Bret. Norton
  ---- Forfar.

While the regiment was in quarters in Berkshire, the Pretender's
standard was raised in Scotland by the Earl of Mar; but this
rebellion was suppressed without Brigadier-General BOWLES's
dragoons being required to proceed to the north; in October they
escorted a number of state prisoners to London, who were tried, and
several of them executed for endeavouring to excite the people to
rebellion, and for enlisting men for the Pretender's service.

[Sidenote: 1716]

[Sidenote: 1717]

[Sidenote: 1718]

In 1716 the regiment was stationed in Gloucestershire; in 1717 in
Wiltshire; and in October, 1718, it marched to Bristol, where it
embarked for Ireland, to replace a regiment of dragoons ordered to
be disbanded in that country.

The TWELFTH Dragoons were placed upon the Irish establishment,
and they remained in that part of the United Kingdom during the
following seventy-five years.

[Sidenote: 1719]

[Sidenote: 1735]

[Sidenote: 1739]

[Sidenote: 1740]

Brigadier-General Bowles was removed in March, 1719, to the Eighth
Dragoons, and was succeeded in the colonelcy of the TWELFTH, by
Lieut.-Colonel Phineas Bowles. This officer was promoted to the
rank of brigadier-general in 1735; to that of major-general in
1739, and was removed, in 1740, to the Seventh Horse, now Sixth
Dragoon Guards, when King George II. conferred the colonelcy of
the TWELFTH Dragoons on Colonel Alexander Rose, from the Twentieth

[Sidenote: 1743]

[Sidenote: 1746]

Colonel Rose commanded the regiment until the summer of 1743,
when he was succeeded by Colonel Samuel Walter Whitshed, from the
Thirty-ninth Foot; and in April, 1746, Brigadier-General Thomas
Bligh was appointed to the colonelcy of the regiment, from the
Twentieth Foot.

[Sidenote: 1747]

[Sidenote: 1749]

Brigadier-General Bligh was promoted to the rank of major-general
in 1747, and removed to the Second Irish Horse, now Fifth Dragoon
Guards; and the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Dragoons was conferred
on Major-General Sir John Mordaunt, from the Eighteenth regiment
of Foot. This distinguished officer was promoted to the Tenth
Dragoons, in 1749, and was succeeded by Major-General Lord George
Sackville, afterwards Viscount Sackville, from the Twentieth
regiment of Foot.

[Sidenote: 1750]

On the 18th of January, 1750, Lord George Sackville was promoted to
the Third Irish Horse, now Sixth Dragoon Guards; and the colonelcy
of the TWELFTH Dragoons was conferred on Lieut.-Colonel Sir John
Whitefoord, Baronet, from the Thirty-fifth Foot.

[Sidenote: 1751]

King George II. issued, on the 1st of July, 1751, a warrant
regulating the clothing, standards and colours of the several
regiments, from which the following particulars have been
extracted respecting the TWELFTH DRAGOONS:--

COATS,--_scarlet_, double-breasted, without lapels, lined with
_white_; slit sleeves, turned up with white; the button-holes
ornamented with narrow white lace; the buttons flat, of white
metal, set on two and two; a long slash pocket in each skirt; and a
white worsted aiguillette on the right shoulder.


HATS,--bound with silver lace, and ornamented with a white metal
loop and a black cockade; the forage cap red, turned up with white,
and XII.D. on the little flap.

BOOTS,--of jacked leather.

CLOAKS,--of scarlet cloth, with a white collar, and lined with
white shalloon; the buttons set on two and two, on yellow frogs or
loops, with a green stripe down the centre.

HORSE FURNITURE,--of white cloth; the holster-caps and housings
having a border of yellow lace, with a green stripe down the
centre; XII.D. embroidered upon the housings, on a red ground,
within a wreath of roses and thistles; the King's cipher, with
the crown over it, and XII.D. underneath, embroidered upon the

OFFICERS,--distinguished by silver lace and embroidery, and a
crimson silk sash across the left shoulder.

SERJEANTS,--to have narrow silver lace on their cuffs, pockets, and
shoulder-straps; silver aiguillettes, with green and yellow worsted
sashes tied round their waists.

DRUMMERS AND HAUTBOYS,--white coats, lined with scarlet, and
ornamented with yellow lace with a green stripe down the centre;
scarlet waistcoats and breeches.

GUIDONS,--the first, or King's guidon, to be of crimson silk, with
a silver and green fringe; in the centre the rose and thistle
conjoined, and crown over them, with the motto--_Dieu et mon
Droit_, underneath; the white horse in a compartment in the first
and fourth corners, and XII.D. in silver characters on a white
ground, in the second and third corners: the second and third
guidons to be of white silk; in the centre, XII.D. in silver
characters, on a crimson ground, within a wreath of roses and
thistles on the same stalk; the white horse on a red ground, in the
first and fourth compartments; and the rose and thistle conjoined,
upon a red ground, in the second and third compartments; on the
third standard, a figure 3, on a circular red ground underneath
the wreath.

[Sidenote: 1763]

[Sidenote: 1764]

Lieut.-General Sir John Whitefoord died in 1763; and was
succeeded in the colonelcy by Colonel Edward Harvey, from the
lieut.-colonelcy of the Sixth Dragoons. In the following year, this
officer was removed to the Third Irish Horse, now Sixth Dragoon
Guards, and the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Dragoons was conferred on
Major-General Benjamin Carpenter, from lieut.-colonel of the second
troop, now second regiment, of Life Guards.

[Sidenote: 1768]

Although the necessity for maintaining an efficient military force
in Ireland, had prevented the regiment sharing in the perils and
conflicts of the war from 1741 to 1748, and from 1755 to 1762,
during which periods several corps had acquired never-fading
laurels, yet its excellent conduct during its service in Ireland
had been noticed and appreciated; it was held in high estimation,
and in 1768, King George III. conferred upon it the distinguished
title of "THE PRINCE OF WALES'S REGIMENT," in honor of the
heir-apparent to the throne, afterwards King George IV., who was
then in the seventh year of his age. At the same time the arms,
clothing, and equipment were changed, and it was constituted a
corps of "LIGHT Cavalry," and was designated "THE TWELFTH, OR THE
also permitted to assume as a regimental badge, a coronet, with
three feathers, and the motto "ICH DIEN;" also a rising sun, and a
red dragon.

[Sidenote: 1770]

Major-General Carpenter was removed to the Fourth Dragoons in 1770,
and was succeeded by Major-General William Augustus Pitt, from the
lieut.-colonelcy of the Tenth Dragoons.

[Sidenote: 1775]

[Sidenote: 1782]

After commanding the regiment five years, Major-General Pitt was
removed to the Third Irish Horse, now Sixth Dragoon Guards, and
was succeeded by Lieut.-General the Honorable William Keppel, from
the Fourteenth Foot, who died in 1782, when His Majesty appointed
Lieut.-General the Honorable George Lane Parker, from the Twentieth
Foot, to the colonelcy of the PRINCE OF WALES'S Light Dragoons.

[Sidenote: 1784]

[Sidenote: 1785]

In 1784 the uniform was changed from scarlet to _blue_, and in 1785
blue cloaks were adopted.

[Sidenote: 1789]

On the 25th June, 1789, Lieutenant the _Honorable Arthur
Wellesley_, now Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington, was removed
to the TWELFTH Light Dragoons from the Forty-first Foot, and
continued to belong to this regiment until the 30th June, 1791.

[Sidenote: 1791]

Lieut.-General Parker commanded the regiment nine years, and dying
in the autumn of 1791, was succeeded by Colonel Sir James Steuart,
Baronet, from the lieut.-colonelcy of the Fifth Dragoons.

[Sidenote: 1793]

[Sidenote: 1794]

The French revolution, which occurred at this period, occasioned
the regiment to be withdrawn from Ireland, where it had been
stationed seventy-five years, and to be employed in more active
services. Although the King of France was beheaded, and the
republicans maintained their authority by the terrors of the
guillotine, yet many patriots stood forward in the cause of
royalty, and the inhabitants of the celebrated port of Toulon,--the
principal station of the French navy, delivered up their port and
city to Admiral Lord Hood, who took possession in August, 1793,
in the name of Louis XVII. A French army advanced against Toulon,
which was defended by a few British, Spanish, Neapolitan, and
Sardinian troops; succours were sent out, and the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons embarked for the Mediterranean. Toulon was, however,
abandoned, and arrangements were made for attacking the island
of _Corsica_; part of the regiment landed and was at the taking
of _Bastia_, which surrendered on the 22nd of May, 1794; and an
assembly of the deputies afterwards agreed to unite the island to
Great Britain. The remainder of the regiment sailed to Italy, and
landed at Civita Vecchia,--a fortified sea-port in the bay of the
Tuscan sea,--and the conduct of the officers and soldiers attracted
the notice of Pope Pius VI., whose thanks were communicated by
Cardinal de Zelada, Secretary of State to His Holiness, in the
following letter:--

  "_From the Vatican, May 30th, 1794._

  "The marked consideration which the Holy Father has always
  entertained, and never will cease to entertain, for the
  generous and illustrious English nation, induces him not to
  neglect the opportunity of giving a proof of it, which is now
  afforded by the stay of a British regiment at Civita Vecchia.
  As his holiness cannot but applaud the regular and praiseworthy
  conduct of the troops in question, he has determined to evince
  his entire satisfaction by presenting a gold medal to each of
  the officers, including General Sir James Steuart, Baronet,
  and Colonel Erskine[1], though absent; and since these medals,
  twelve in number, are not, at the present moment, in readiness,
  nor can be provided before the departure of the regiment from
  Civita Vecchia, the Holy Father will be careful that they shall
  be sent, as soon as possible, to Sir John Cox Hippesly, who will
  be pleased to transmit them to the respective officers, making
  them acquainted, at the same time, with the feelings by which
  His Holiness is animated, and with the lively desire which he
  entertains of manifesting, on all occasions, his unalterable
  regard, whether it be towards the nation in general, or towards
  every individual Englishman. In thus making known to Sir John
  Cox Hippesly, member of the British parliament, the dispositions
  of the Supreme Pontiff, the Cardinal de Zelada, Secretary of
  State, begs leave to add an offer of his own services, and the
  assurances of his distinguished esteem[2]."

[Sidenote: 1795]

The TWELFTH Light Dragoons were withdrawn from Italy and Corsica,
and, sailing to England, landed at Plymouth in January, 1795; they
were stationed, during the summer, at Tavistock, and passed the
winter at Nottingham.

[Sidenote: 1796]

In the summer of 1796 the regiment was removed to Croydon,
and in October to York. The French republic was, in the mean
time, conspiring the destruction of British commerce, and
having concluded a treaty of peace with Spain, had entered into
negociations with the Portuguese; but the Queen of Portugal refused
to ratify the treaty, and agreed to receive British troops into
several ports of Portugal. The TWELFTH Light Dragoons were selected
to proceed to Portugal, to assist in the defence of that kingdom,
in the event of its being attacked by France or her allies.

[Sidenote: 1797]

The regiment left England during the winter, arrived at Portugal
in the beginning of 1797, and was followed by the Twenty-sixth
Dragoons, the second battalion of the First (Royals), and the
Eighteenth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first regiments of foot.

[Sidenote: 1800]

[Sidenote: 1801]

The TWELFTH Light Dragoons were stationed at Lisbon, where they
remained until the winter of 1800, when they embarked to join
the expedition under General Sir Ralph Abercromby, destined to
undertake the expulsion of the French "Army of the East" from
Egypt. The regiment sailed under the convoy of the Braakel, armed
_en flûte_, and arrived on the 11th of January, 1801, at the Bay
of Marmorice, in Asiatic Turkey, where the fleet was anchored in
a splendid basin of water, surrounded by mountains covered with
trees. The regiment landed, and received a supply of Turkish
horses, which proved of so very inferior a description, that the
commanding officer, Lieut.-Colonel Mervyn Archdall, solicited to
serve with the regiment as infantry; the necessity of having a
body of mounted cavalry was, however, urgent, and three hundred of
the best of the horses were trained[3]; a number of men, however,
remained dismounted. The TWELFTH and Twenty-sixth Light Dragoons
were formed in brigade under Brigadier-General Finch.

From the Bay of Marmorice the fleet sailed on the 23rd of February,
and the greatness of the armament, with the gaiety of the brave
men on board, was calculated to excite a deep feeling of interest
respecting the destiny of the expedition, which involved the
dearest interests of Great Britain. The gallant troops employed on
this enterprise proved worthy of the confidence reposed in them,
and they more than realized the expectations of their king and
country. Arriving off the celebrated city of Alexandria in the
beginning of March, the fleet bore down into the Bay of Aboukir,
and on the 8th of that month, the troops landed, and defeated a
numerous body of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, formed to oppose
them. Advancing towards _Alexandria_, the army encamped, on the
12th of March, near Mandora Tower, and on the following day marched
through a grove of date-trees, and drove the enemy from a position
he occupied. The TWELFTH Light Dragoons had one man and four horses
killed; one serjeant, and one private soldier wounded.

After this success the army encamped, and the Egyptian peasantry
brought a supply of sheep, goats, poultry, and eggs. On the
18th of March, when a great part of the regiment had left the
camp to water the horses, information arrived of the approach
of a reconnoitring party, and Lieut.-Colonel Archdall collected
sixty men, with whom he advanced to meet the enemy, taking also
a piquet of twenty men. After proceeding about three miles, he
met one hundred and fifty French hussars and infantry, under
General D'Estin, and, notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, he
instantly detached Lieutenant Levingston with twelve men to attack
the left flank of the French hussars, while he charged the front
with the main body. Dashing furiously upon his opponents, Colonel
Archdall broke the French infantry at the first onset; their
cavalry instantly fled, and the British troopers pursued, killing
and wounding several, but the main body of the French hussars,
being better mounted than the British, escaped. The precaution of
securing the French infantry had been, inconsiderately, omitted,
and when the troopers returned from the pursuit, they were fired
upon by the foot from behind a sandhill, which occasioned some
loss, and, finally, the French infantry effected their retreat.
The TWELFTH Light Dragoons had five horses killed; Lieut.-Colonel
Archdall, and one serjeant wounded; Captain the Honorable Pierce
Butler, Cornet Earle Lindsay Daniel, and seven men, who had been
most eager in the pursuit, were intercepted in their return, and
made prisoners.

Lieut.-Colonel Archdall lost his arm, and the command of the
TWELFTH Dragoons devolved on Lieut.-Colonel Robert Browne.

On the 21st of March the British repulsed an attack of the French
on their position; but they had to lament the loss of Sir Ralph
Abercromby, who was mortally wounded. The loss of the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons was limited to seven men wounded.

From the vicinity of Alexandria the regiment afterwards traversed
the country to Rosetta, and advanced from thence along the banks
of the Nile, taking part in the operations by which the French
were forced to quit their fortified post at _Rahmanie_, where the
TWELFTH lost several men and horses.

While possession was being taken of the fort of Rahmanie,
Lieutenant Drake and thirty men of the regiment went out to
water their horses, and hearing a firing at a distance, they
proceeded to the spot, and found fifty men of the Twenty-second
French Dragoons skirmishing with a party of Arabs. The TWELFTH
advanced with the most determined gallantry, but at the moment
when they were about to charge, the French captain held up a white
handkerchief, and agreed to surrender. An aide-de-camp, with
despatches, was also made prisoner on this occasion.

From Rahmanie, the army advanced along the banks of the Nile
towards Cairo, and arrived on the 16th of May at _Algam_ and
Nadir. On the following morning some Bedouin Arabs arrived at
Colonel Browne's tent with information that a body of French were
in the Lybian Desert; the colonel sent them to head-quarters, and
immediately despatched Lieutenant Francis Raynes with a small
detachment into the desert; also ordered the light artillery and
cavalry to feed and water their horses, and be ready to move at a
moment's notice: Lieutenant Catson was afterwards sent out with
another small detachment to keep up the communication with the
first. Soon afterwards Brigadier-General Doyle was directed to
enter the desert with his brigade of infantry,--the TWELFTH and
Twenty-sixth Light Dragoons (two hundred and fifty men) and some
artillery. At the same time Colonel Abercromby and Major Wilson
galloped forward to find the enemy. After proceeding some distance
at a brisk trot the Light Dragoons came in sight of the French
column, which had been skirmishing with the Arabs. The enemy was
very superior in numbers; the British artillery was some distance
in the rear, and the infantry was not in sight; but Major Wilson
advanced with a white handkerchief on the point of his sword, and
proposed to the French commander, Colonel Cavalier, to surrender on
condition of being sent to France, and the officers to retain their
private property. This was at first refused, but Colonel Browne
forming the TWELFTH and Twenty-sixth Light Dragoons rank-entire,
with extended files, they presented a formidable appearance;
and the French officers and soldiers, being weary of Egypt, and
desirous of returning to France, surrendered. This proved to be a
valuable French convoy of

  28 officers.
  570 rank and file,
  1 stand of colours,
  1 light four-pounder,
  300 horses and dromedaries, and
  500 camels.

One hundred and twenty men of Bonaparte's famous dromedary
corps were among the prisoners, and presented a grand and novel
appearance; and the horses and camels formed a valuable acquisition
to the British army.

Brigadier-General (afterwards Sir John) Doyle expressed, in a
letter to Colonel Browne, his approbation of the excellent conduct
of the TWELFTH and Twenty-sixth Light Dragoons, adding,--"With such
troops I shall always feel a pride to serve; and at their head, be
content to fall, being convinced it must be with honor." When this
officer received supporters to his arms, he chose, as one of them,
a light dragoon of the TWELFTH, holding the French color taken with
the convoy.

The army, continuing to advance, arrived, on the 8th of June,
near the Pyramids, where it halted several days, and subsequently
advanced to _Cairo_, and invested the city; the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons being posted on the left of the river. In a few days the
French surrendered the capital of Egypt, which added additional
lustre to the British arms, and the brave soldiers, whose skill
and valor gained these honors, were rewarded with the approbation
of their Sovereign, and the thanks of Parliament.

From Cairo the army retired down the Nile, and commenced the siege
of _Alexandria_, which city was surrendered in September, and the
deliverance of Egypt from the power of France was thus completed.

[Sidenote: 1802]

On the evacuation of Egypt, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons returned
to England, where they arrived in 1802. The officers received
each a gold medal from the Grand Seignior, and the regiment was
subsequently honored with the royal authority to bear on its
guidons and appointments, a "SPHYNX," with the word "EGYPT," as a
mark of His Majesty's approbation of their gallant services in the
Egyptian campaign[4].

[Sidenote: 1803]

[Sidenote: 1804]

After their return from Egypt, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons were
stationed at Weymouth until the end of the year, when they
proceeded to Ireland, and the head-quarters were established at
Clonmel, from whence they were removed, in 1803, to Limerick, and
in 1804, to Dublin.

[Sidenote: 1805]

[Sidenote: 1806]

[Sidenote: 1807]

[Sidenote: 1808]

Returning to England in 1805, the regiment was stationed at
Guildford and Romford; in 1806 the head-quarters were at
Blatchington, with numerous detachments on the Sussex coast. In
1807 they were removed to Hythe, with detachments on the coast of
Kent. In 1808 the regiment marched to Hounslow and Hampton Court,
and took the escort duty for the royal family.

[Sidenote: 1809]

[Sidenote: 1810]

The regiment was relieved from the escort duty, in 1809, and
embarked with the expedition to Holland under General the Earl of
Chatham. It was on board the fleet during the siege and capture of
Flushing on the island of _Walcheren_; and when the object of the
expedition was relinquished, the regiment returned to England; the
head-quarters were established at Deal, with detached troops along
the coast of Kent, where they were stationed in 1810.

[Sidenote: 1811]

In the spring of 1811 the TWELFTH Light Dragoons received orders
to hold themselves in readiness to join the allied army commanded
by Lord Wellington, engaged in the glorious struggle to effect the
expulsion of the legions of Bonaparte from Spain and Portugal;
and six troops of the regiment embarked at Portsmouth in May and
June. On the 11th of June Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. C. Ponsonby
was appointed lieut.-colonel in the regiment in succession to
Major-General Robert Browne. The regiment landed at Lisbon on
the 25th of June, and, after a halt of ten days, advanced up
the country. The allied army retired, soon afterwards, from its
position on the Caya in the Alentejo, and moved towards Ciudad
Rodrigo; and the TWELFTH Light Dragoons were formed in brigade
with the First (Royal) Dragoons under the command of Major-General
Slade. This brigade was employed in the operations connected with
the blockade of _Ciudad Rodrigo_, and with the action at El Bodon,
which took place when the armies of Marshal Marmont and General
Dorsenne advanced to relieve the blockaded fortress. A series of
movements followed, in which the TWELFTH took part, and after the
retrograde of the French army, the brigade went into cantonments in
the valley of the Mondego, the TWELFTH occupying Celerico.

[Sidenote: 1812]

In the winter, when the siege of _Ciudad Rodrigo_ was undertaken,
the TWELFTH Light Dragoons advanced to take part in covering the
operation, and were posted at Regarda, and on the capture of
fortress in January, 1812, they fell back to Seixo, in the valley
of Mondego, where they were formed in brigade with the Fourteenth
and Sixteenth Light Dragoons, under the orders of Major-General

In February the TWELFTH Light Dragoons marched to Thomar, where
they remained until the siege of _Badajoz_ was undertaken, when
they proceeded to the Alentejo. On the approach of the French army,
they crossed the Guadiana and advanced to Los Santos, where they
took the outpost duty, and Badajoz was captured by storm on the
6th of April. The covering army afterwards advanced towards the
enemy, who fell back, and on the 10th of April the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons drove the enemy's posts from the vicinity of _Usagre_, and
occupied the town. On the following day the brigade, commanded on
this occasion by Lieut.-Colonel the Honorable Frederick Ponsonby of
the TWELFTH Light Dragoons, moved towards _Llerena_, and kept the
attention of a large body of French cavalry engaged by skirmishing,
while the Fifth Dragoon Guards, and Third and Fourth Dragoons,
commanded by Major-General Le Marchant, passed secretly at the
back of some heights, and gained the enemy's flank. Everything
succeeded according to expectation; as three squadrons under
Lieut.-Colonel Ponsonby skirmished, the Fifth Dragoon Guards issued
from a grove of olive-trees and charged the enemy's flank; and in
the next moment the light brigade charged the front of the French
line, which was instantly broken and pursued for several miles. A
hundred Frenchmen were killed and wounded in the field, and a much
greater number, including one lieut.-colonel, two captains, and
a lieutenant, were made prisoners. The loss of the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons was limited to one serjeant, two private soldiers, and
one horse killed; one serjeant, four private soldiers, and three
horses wounded. A cavalry order was issued on the following day,
from which the following is an extract:--

"Lieut.-General Sir Stapleton Cotton begs Major-General Le Marchant
and the Honorable Lieut.-Colonel Ponsonby will accept his best
thanks for the gallant and judicious manner in which they commanded
their brigades yesterday, and he requests they will make known
to the officers commanding regiments the lieut.-general's high
approbation of their conduct, as well as of the zeal and attention
displayed by all ranks. The order which was observed by the
troops in pursuing the enemy, and the quickness with which they
formed after every attack, does infinite credit to the commanding
officers, and is a convincing proof of the good discipline of the
several regiments."

The French army under Marshal Soult retired; but another army under
Marshal Marmont had entered Portugal, and Major-General Anson's
brigade left Spanish Estremadura, and marched for the province of
Beira. Marshal Marmont retired; and the TWELFTH Light Dragoons,
having halted a short period at Castello-Branco, were afterwards
removed to Cano.

In June, when the army took the field, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons
proceeded to the vicinity of Ciudad Rodrigo, and subsequently
advanced upon _Salamanca_, from whence the French were driven;
the regiment, having crossed the Tormes below that city, with the
column under Lieut.-General Sir Thomas Picton, advanced, by St.
Christoval, along the road to Toro, and after skirmishing with the
French rear-guard, took the outposts in front of St. Christoval,
where the army was placed in position during the siege of the forts.

After the capture of the forts at Salamanca, the army advanced to
the bank of the Douro, and the French under Marshal Marmont were
posted on the opposite side of the river. In the middle of July the
French passed the Douro, when Lord Wellington united his centre and
left on the Guarena; but caused two divisions, and Major-General
Anson's brigade of cavalry, to halt at _Castrejon_, on the
Trabancos, under Lieut.-General Sir Stapleton Cotton. The TWELFTH
Light Dragoons arrived at Castrejon on the 17th of July, and in
the evening the piquet under Captain Dickens was attacked. On the
following morning at day-break, the out-posts were driven in, and
the French appeared in great force; the cavalry formed in front of
the infantry, but afterwards advanced towards the river and some
sharp skirmishing occurred. Lord Wellington arriving, the whole
were directed to retire behind the Guarena, which was executed with
little loss. The TWELFTH Light Dragoons had five rank and file, and
eight horses killed; Adjutant Getterick, twelve rank and file, and
four horses wounded; one rank and file and three horses missing.

The TWELFTH Light Dragoons were actively employed during the
operations which followed the retreat behind the Guarena, and on
the 20th of July, when the opposing armies were moving parallel to
each other, Captain Barton's squadron suffered from a cannonade;
this squadron furnished the out-posts at night.

The army subsequently withdrew to the vicinity of _Salamanca_,
where a general action was fought on the 22nd of July. The TWELFTH
Light Dragoons were stationed on the left, and not far from the
rocky Arapiles, and they had the honor of taking part in the
overthrow of the French army. The regiment charged twice in the
evening, and broke some French infantry, after which a squadron
under Captain Andrews moved to Huarte. Its loss was Captain
Dickens, one serjeant, one rank and file and one horse killed; two
rank and file and three horses wounded.

On the day after the battle, the TWELFTH joined the other
regiments of the brigade, which had been in pursuit of the enemy's
rear-guard, and following the French army in its retrograde
movement, arrived at the ancient city of Valladolid, in Leon, on
the 30th of July. The pursuit was not continued; but the Marquis of
Wellington left a small force in the neighbourhood of Valladolid,
including the TWELFTH Light Dragoons, and marched with the army to
Madrid, a distance of about one hundred miles.

When the allied army had left the vicinity of the Douro, General
Clauzel advanced with the French troops which had been defeated
at Salamanca, and occupied Valladolid, and Major-General Anson's
brigade was withdrawn across the Douro at Tudela in the middle of
August, when the TWELFTH had one man killed in a skirmish with the

On the return of the army from Madrid, the French retreated; the
British moved forward, and on the 7th of September the TWELFTH
Light Dragoons entered Valladolid, and skirmished with the enemy's
rear-guard when the bridge was blown up.

Leaving Valladolid the French army retired down the beautiful
Pisuerga and Arlanzan valleys; the allies followed, and the ground
being favorable for a retiring army, repeated skirmishes took
place, in which the TWELFTH Light Dragoons were engaged. Arriving
at _Burgos_, the capital of Old Castille, the army halted, and
commenced the siege of the castle; the cavalry being pushed forward
to _Monasterio_, where the TWELFTH Light Dragoons had frequent
skirmishes with parties of the enemy.

The French army having been reinforced and placed under the orders
of General Souham, advanced upon Burgos; and this circumstance,
with the movements of the forces under Joseph Buonaparte and
Marshal Soult, induced the British commander to raise the siege of
Burgos castle, and to retire.

During the retreat from Burgos to Ciudad Rodrigo, the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons were actively employed in covering the rear, and they had
frequent rencontres with the French advance-guards, on one of which
occasions their commanding officer, Lieut.-Colonel the Honorable
Frederick Ponsonby, was wounded; Lieutenant Taylor was also
wounded; and the regiment had several private soldiers and horses
killed and wounded.

After passing the Agueda the army went into quarters; the TWELFTH
Light Dragoons were stationed at Oliveira de Condé; and from the
period they had taken the field in June, they reckoned thirty-three
skirmishes and one general engagement, in which the regiment, or a
portion of it, had taken part.

[Sidenote: 1813]

In February, 1813, the regiment was removed to St. Pedro de Sul,
on the Vouga, and in April to Agueda, between Coimbro and Oporto.
In the mean time arrangements were made for opening the compaign,
and in May, the British cavalry of the left wing crossed the Douro,
some at Oporto, some at Lamega and other places, and entered the
mountainous district of the Tras-os-Montes; they were followed
by several divisions of infantry, and by the pontoon train; the
whole under Lieut.-General Sir Thomas Graham. The TWELFTH Light
Dragoons formed a part of this force; they passed the Douro at
Oporto, accompanied this portion of the army in its difficult
march through mountainous regions held to be nearly impracticable
even for small corps, and forded the Esla at the end of May. The
French, finding their position turned, fell back without hazarding
a battle, and a series of retrograde movements brought them behind
the Ebro. The TWELFTH Light Dragoons followed close on the rear of
the retiring enemy, and moving towards the sources of the Ebro,
traversed those wild, but beautiful, mountain-regions, through
which the Marquis of Wellington moved his numerous columns to turn
the position occupied by the French, who fell back upon Vittoria.
On the 18th of June, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons overtook a French
division, with which they skirmished until a British column came
up, when the enemy retired.

The skilful and brilliant movements of the British commander had
forced the enemy back in confusion from the banks of the Tormes to
the confines of the Pyrenees, in three weeks; and this splendid
success was followed by a great victory in the valley of _Vittoria_
on the 21st of June, in the gaining of which the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons had the honor to take part. They formed part of the left
column under Lieut.-General Sir Thomas Graham, and supported the
attacks of the infantry and artillery on the right of the enemy's
positions at Abechuco and Gamarra Major, and towards the close of
the action they crossed the little river Zadora, turned the enemy's
right, and cut off his retreat by the Bayonne road. The loss of the
regiment was small, viz.:--Cornet Hammond and one man killed, and
three men wounded: its gallant bearing throughout the action, and
the zeal, spirit, and activity evinced by the officers and men,
were, however, conspicuous, particularly in its movements in the
evening of that eventful day.

On the 23rd of June, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons were detached,
with other forces under Lieut.-General Sir Thomas Graham, by the
pass of Adrian to the district of Guipuscoa, in the province of
Biscay, and in the evening the head of the column, having crossed
the Mutiol mountain, descended upon Segura. The TWELFTH passed the
night in the mountain, resumed the march on the following day, and
arrived in the evening in the neighbourhood of _Villa Franca_, at
the moment when the rear-guard of General Foy's division, which
was escorting a valuable convoy towards France, was entering the
town. The French took up a strong position, some sharp fighting
occurred, and eventually General Foy fell back to _Tolosa_, from
whence he was driven with the loss of four hundred men killed and
wounded; but the convoy entered France in safety.

In the beginning of July, _St. Sebastian_ was besieged, and the
TWELFTH Light Dragoons were employed in covering the siege of that
important fortress. Towards the end of July, when Marshal Soult
advanced with a powerful army to drive the allies from the Pyrenees
and relieve the invested fortresses, the siege of St. Sebastian
was turned into a blockade, and Major-General Anson's brigade of
cavalry was employed in keeping up the communication through the
mountains, between the left and centre of the allied army. The
communication was interrupted on the 27th and 28th of July; but was
renewed on the 29th, and after much hard fighting in the mountains,
the French were driven back with loss. The siege of St. Sebastian
was then renewed, and the TWELFTH Light Dragoons took post at
Usurbil, from whence a squadron was subsequently detached to
Renterio to furnish the out-posts in that direction. St. Sebastian
was taken by storm on the 31st of August, and on the 9th of
September the citadel surrendered. About this period Major-General
Vandeleur was appointed to the command of the brigade of which the
TWELFTH Light Dragoons formed part.

After the fall of St. Sebastian, the troops which had been employed
in the siege advanced to the frontiers, and on the 7th of October
the passage of the _Bidassoa_ was forced, and the army entered
France. Unprincipled aggression was thus overtaken by retributive
justice, and the kingdom which had sent its legions to other
countries to ravage and devastate, became the theatre of war. After
the passage of the river, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons bivouacked on
the great road, with posts at Urogne.

Pampeluna having surrendered, a forward movement was made on the
10th of November, when the enemy's works on the river _Nivelle_
were attacked and forced. The TWELFTH supported the infantry, and
lost several men and horses from a cannonade to which they were
exposed. The river Nive was passed in the early part of December;
but the weather became so severe as to confine the troops to their
quarters, and the TWELFTH Light Dragoons returned to Urogne, and
took the out-post duty in front of St. Jean-de-Luz. The French
army occupied a strong camp at Bayonne.

[Sidenote: 1814]

When the severity of the weather abated, the army was again put
in motion; and in the second week of February, 1814, the British
commander advanced against the enemy's left to draw Marshal Soult's
attention to that quarter, while the passage of the _Adour_ was
effected, by the division under Lieut.-General Sir John Hope, below
Bayonne. By a difficult night-march a body of troops approached the
river on the morning of the 23rd of February; the artillery forced
the French flotilla to retire, and sixty men of the foot-guards
were rowed across in a pontoon; a raft was formed, a hawser was
stretched across, and six hundred of the foot-guards, the fifth
battalion of the sixtieth regiment, and part of the rocket-battery
crossed, and repulsed the attack of a French column from Bayonne.
On the 24th a squadron of the TWELFTH Light Dragoons crossed the
Adour, the men in boats, and the horses swam across the river. A
British flotilla afterwards arrived, a bridge of boats was thrown
across, and Bayonne was blockaded.

In the mean time important events had transpired in various parts
of Europe, and the gigantic power of Bonaparte was reduced. A
party favorable to the Bourbon dynasty was known to exist at
_Bordeaux_, towards which city a body of troops was detached under
Sir William, now Lord, Beresford. The TWELFTH Light Dragoons moved
by the old road across the Landes towards Bordeaux, where they
arrived on the 12th of March, and the magistrates and city-guards
displayed the white cockade. The regiment was left at Bordeaux
under Lieut.-General the Earl of Dalhousie; it furnished posts
and patroles between the Garonne and Dordogne. Two squadrons
were subsequently attached to part of the seventh division which
occupied La Réolles; and on the 7th of April, a squadron commanded
by Major Bridger, crossed the Dordogne, with Lord Dalhousie,
and made a successful charge upon a body of French infantry at

Hostilities were soon afterwards terminated by the restoration
of the Bourbon dynasty to the throne of France. After reposing a
short time in quarters, the regiment commenced its march through
France to Calais, which was performed in a month, and in the second
week of July it embarked for Dover, from whence it proceeded to
Hounslow, where it was reviewed by His Royal Highness the Duke of
York; it was afterwards removed to Dorchester.

In closing the account of the services of the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons in the Peninsula, it is worthy of being recorded, that the
regiment never had a piquet surprised, nor a patrole taken; neither
did any instance of desertion occur.

[Sidenote: 1815]

In February, 1815, the regiment marched to Reading, in consequence
of some disturbances in Berkshire.

After commanding the regiment for twenty-three years, General Sir
James Steuart Denham, Baronet, was removed to the Scots Greys, and
was succeeded by Lieut.-General Sir William Payne, Baronet, from
the Nineteenth Light Dragoons, by commission dated the 12th of
January, 1815.

His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, appreciating the important
services rendered by the army during the war, conferred rewards
for gallant conduct on officers and corps; and the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons were authorized to bear on their guidons and appointments
the word "PENINSULA," to commemorate their services in Portugal,
Spain, and the south of France, under Field-Marshal His Grace
the Duke of Wellington. Their commanding officer, Colonel the
Honorable F. C. Ponsonby, was rewarded with a medal and two clasps
for the battles of Barrosa, Salamanca, and Vittoria. Before these
distinctions were all conferred, the reappearance of Bonaparte in
France,--his re-assumption of the imperial dignity,--and the flight
of Louis XVIII. from Paris to the Netherlands, occasioned a British
army once more to take the field against the legions of the usurper.

Six troops of the TWELFTH Light Dragoons, commanded by Colonel the
Honorable F. C. Ponsonby, embarked at Ramsgate, in the beginning of
April, 1815, leaving a depôt of two troops in England, (which was
subsequently augmented to four,) and landing at Ostend, on the 3rd
of that month, advanced up the country; they were formed in brigade
with the Eleventh and Sixteenth Light Dragoons, under Major-General
Sir John Ormsby Vandeleur. Soon after their arrival in Flanders,
they were reviewed by the Duke of Wellington, who was pleased to
express his "approbation of their appearance; that he was happy
at having again under his orders, a corps which had always been
distinguished for its gallantry and discipline, and he did not
doubt, should occasion offer, but it would continue to deserve
his good opinion; and he hoped every man would feel a pride in
endeavouring to maintain the reputation of the regiment."

When Bonaparte endeavoured, by a sudden advance of his numerous
legions, to interpose between the British and Prussian armies,
and beat them in detail, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons were suddenly
ordered to march, on the morning of the 16th of June, to Enghien,
from whence they continued their route, a great part of the way
at a trot, to _Quatre Bras_, where they arrived at sunset, at the
moment when the French troops, under Marshal Ney, were withdrawing
from the contest. The regiment bivouacked on the ground behind
the field of battle, and furnished small piquets along the front,
in communication with the infantry. On the following day, when
the army made a retrograde movement, to keep up the communication
with the Prussians, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons withdrew by the
lower road, through the woods and open grounds, passed the river
Dyle, at a deep ford, below Genappe, and took post on the left of
the position, in front of the village of _Waterloo_, where they
bivouacked in the open fields, and were exposed to a heavy rain
during the night.

On the following morning (18th June) two powerful armies
confronted each other; each occupied a range of heights of easy
access, and a narrow valley was between them. Both armies were
confident in their leader, and, as daylight appeared, they prepared
to engage in deadly conflict.

The TWELFTH Light Dragoons were formed in column of squadrons,
and posted in a pea-field, above Papilot, a short distance
from the left of the fifth division, which formed the left of
the British infantry. Soon after mid-day Count D'Erlon's corps
attacked the British left, but was repulsed, on which occasion a
brilliant charge was made by the Royals, Greys, and Inniskilling
Dragoons. One column of the enemy, on the extreme right of the
attacking force, had not been engaged, and it continued to advance.
Major-General Vandeleur had proceeded, with part of his brigade,
to support the Royals, Greys, and Inniskilling Dragoons, whilst
re-forming after their charge; but the TWELFTH remained on the
left, and Colonel Ponsonby, having authority to act discretionally,
resolved, notwithstanding the inferiority of his numbers, to attack
the French column with the regiment. He formed the TWELFTH in open
column, cautioned the men "to be steady, and do their duty," and
led them forward over ploughed ground, saturated with rain, to
attack this formidable column of infantry, which was supported on
the flank by lancers, and covered by the fire of artillery from a
rising ground in its rear. As the French column crossed the valley
between the two armies, the TWELFTH passed the hedge-row occupied
by the Highlanders, and descended the rising ground on which
the British line was formed, exposed to the fire of the enemy's
artillery, and receiving a volley from the column of infantry,
to which the slope, the regiment was descending, rendered it a
conspicuous mark. As the regiment moved forward, it gradually
increased its pace; the men were anxious to charge; but Colonel
Ponsonby, whose courage they admired, and in whose talents they
placed unlimited confidence, restrained their ardour, that he might
maintain their compact formation, and reserve the power of the
horses for the critical moment. When that moment arrived, he gave
the word "Charge." The French, dismayed by the heroic bearing of
the regiment, gave way, and the TWELFTH plunged at speed into the
column, broke its formation, and cut down the French soldiers with
a terrible carnage. The moment the regiment had cut through the
infantry, it was stopped by the columns of reserve, and charged by
the lancers. Having succeeded in the object of the charge, Colonel
Ponsonby was anxious to withdraw the regiment, and spare his men,
who were fighting against fearful odds; but friends and foes were
mixed in a confused mêlée; the colonel fell, dangerously wounded,
and the regiment withdrew from the unequal contest.

After returning from the charge, the regiment was re-formed under
Captain (now Colonel) Stawell; its loss had been severe; of the
three squadrons, which ten minutes before had gone into action,
one-third had fallen; it was found necessary to tell off the
regiment into two squadrons, and the grief of the soldiers was
great at the absence of their colonel, of whose fate they were
ignorant[5]. Major James Paul Bridger, whose charger was killed in
the attack, procured another horse, and assumed the command of the

The following account of the charge of the TWELFTH, and of his own
sufferings, was afterwards written by Colonel Ponsonby to satisfy
the inquiries of numerous friends:--

"I was stationed with my regiment (about 300 strong) at the extreme
of the left wing, and directed to act discretionally:--each of the
armies was drawn up on a gentle declivity, a small valley lying
between them.

"At one o'clock, observing, as I thought, unsteadiness in a column
of French infantry, which was advancing _with an irregular fire_,
I resolved to charge them. As we were descending in a gallop,
we received from our own troops on the right, a fire much more
destructive than theirs, they having begun long before it could
take effect, and slackening as we drew nearer; when we were within
fifty paces of them, they turned, and much execution was done among
them, as we were followed by some Belgians, who had remarked our
success. But we had no sooner passed through them, than we were
attacked in our turn, before we could form, by about 300 Polish
lancers, who had come down to their relief. The French artillery
pouring in among us a heavy fire of grape-shot, which, however,
killed three of their own for one of our men: in the mêlée, I was
disabled almost instantly in both of my arms, and followed by a few
of my men, who were presently cut down (no quarter being asked or
given), I was carried on by my horse, till receiving a blow on my
head from a sabre, I was thrown senseless on my face to the ground.
Recovering, I raised myself a little to look round, when a lancer,
passing by, exclaimed '_Tu n'es pas mort, coquin_,' and struck his
lance through my back; my head dropped, the blood gushed into my
mouth, a difficulty of breathing came on, and I thought all was

"Not long afterwards a tirailleur came up to plunder me,
threatening to take my life. I told him that he might search me,
directing him to a small side-pocket, in which he found three
dollars, being all I had; he unloosed my stock and tore open my
waistcoat, then leaving me in a very uneasy posture; and was
no sooner gone, than another came up for the same purpose; but
assuring him I had been plundered already, he left me; when
an officer, bringing on some troops, (to which probably the
tirailleurs belonged,) and halting where I lay, stooped down and
addressed me saying, he feared I was badly wounded: I replied that
I was, and expressed a wish to be removed into the rear: he said
it was against the order to remove even their own men, but that if
they gained the day, as they probably would, (for he understood
the Duke of Wellington was killed, and that six of our battalions
had surrendered,) every attention in his power should be shown me.
I complained of thirst, and he held his brandy-bottle to my lips,
directing one of his men to lay me straight on my side, and place a
knapsack under my head: he then passed on into the action,--and I
shall never know to whose generosity I was indebted, as I conceive,
for my life,--of what rank he was I cannot say; he wore a blue
greatcoat. By and by another tirailleur came and knelt and fired
over me, loading and firing many times, and conversing with great
gaiety all the while; at last he ran off, saying, '_Vous serez bien
aise d'entendre que nous allons nous retirer; bon jour, mon ami._'

"While the battle continued in that part, several of the wounded
men and dead bodies near me, were hit with the balls, which came
very thick in that place. Towards evening, when the Prussians came,
the continued roar of the cannon along theirs and the British line,
growing louder and louder as they drew near, was the finest thing
I ever heard. It was dusk when two squadrons of Prussian cavalry,
both of them two deep, passed over me in full trot, lifting me
from the ground, and tumbling me about cruelly; the clatter of
their approach, and the apprehensions it excited, maybe easily
conceived; had a gun come that way, it would have done for me. The
battle was then nearly over, or removed to a distance--the cries
and groans of the wounded all around me, became every instant more
and more audible, succeeding to the shouts, imprecations, outcries
of '_Vive l'Empereur!_' the discharges of musquetry and cannon;
now and then intervals of perfect silence, which were worse than
the noise;--I thought the night would never end. Much about this
time, I found a soldier of the Royals lying across my legs, who
had probably crawled thither in his agony; his weight, convulsive
motions, his noises, and the air issuing through a wound in his
side, distressed me greatly; the latter circumstance most of all,
as the case was my own. It was not a dark night, and the Prussians
were wandering about to plunder; (and the scene in Ferdinand, Count
Fathom, came into my mind, though no women, I believe, were there,)
several of them came and looked at me, and passed on: at length,
one stopped to examine me. I told him, as well as I could (for
I could say but little in German), that I was a British officer,
and had been plundered already; he did not desist, however, and
pulled me about roughly, before he left me. About an hour before
midnight, I saw a soldier in an English uniform coming towards me;
he was, I suspect, on the same errand. He came and looked in my
face; I spoke instantly, telling him who I was, and assuring him
of a reward, if he would remain by me. He said that he belonged
to the 40th regiment, but had missed it. He released me from the
dying man; being unarmed, he took up a sword from the ground, and
stood over me, pacing backwards and forwards.--At eight o'clock
in the morning, some English were seen at a distance; he ran to
them, and a messenger was sent off to Hervey. A cart came for me.
I was placed in it, and carried to a farm-house, about a mile and
a half distant, and laid in the bed from which poor Gordon, (as I
understood afterwards,) had been just carried out; the jolting of
the cart, and the difficulty of breathing, were very painful. I had
received seven wounds; a surgeon slept in my room, and I was saved
by continual bleeding, 120 ounces in two days, besides the great
loss of blood on the field[6]."

The regiment remained at its post on the left until towards the
close of the action, when the head of a Prussian column had arrived
at the field of battle, the TWELFTH Light Dragoons were then
removed from the left to the right of the allied army; and, in the
general charge, made in the evening of this memorable day, they
had the honor of being one of the corps which led the attack of
the right wing; they passed over the ground on which the struggle
had taken place between the French and English foot-guards, which
was covered with killed and wounded; rushed upon the flanks of the
enemy's broken columns with distinguished gallantry, and completed
their rout and discomfiture. When the French army was overthrown
and driven from the field, the regiment halted for the night.
Its loss was Captain Sandys, Lieutenant Bertie, Cornet Lockhart,
six serjeants, and thirty-seven rank and file, killed; Colonel
Ponsonby, Lieutenant Dowbiggen, three serjeants, and fifty-five
rank and file, wounded.

The honor of bearing the word "WATERLOO" on their guidons and
appointments was afterwards conferred on the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons by royal authority. Colonel the Honorable F. C. Ponsonby
and Major James Paul Bridger were constituted companions of the
Bath; Major Bridger was promoted to the rank of lieut.-colonel,
and Captain Sampson Stawell to that of major; and Serjeant-Major
Carruthers was appointed to a cornetcy. The following officers
received silver medals:--

  Col. Hon. F. C. Ponsonby
  Major J. P. Bridger
  Capt. Sampson Stawell
    "   G. F. Erskine
    "   H. Wallace
    "   Alexander Barton
    "   Henry Andrews
  Lieut. William Heydon
    "    James Chatterton
    "    John Vandeleur
    "    William Hay
    "    W. H. Dowbiggin
    "    Albert Goldsmith
    "    Abraham Lane
    "    J. H. Slade
    "    Thomas Reed
  Paymaster W. L. Otway
  Adjutant John Griffith
  Surgeon B. Robinson
  Assist.-Surg. J. G. Smith
  Vet.-Surg. James Castley

Every non-commissioned officer and soldier also received a silver
medal, with the privilege of reckoning two years' service for
having been present at this battle,--the greatest of past or
present times, and one which has increased the reputation of the
British arms.

Following the shattered remnant of the French army in its flight,
the regiment arrived in the vicinity of Paris, and the submission
of the capital was followed by the restoration of the Bourbon
dynasty to the throne of France. The TWELFTH Light Dragoons
bivouacked in the Champs Elysées, and, having been reviewed by
the Emperor of Russia, King of Prussia, and other distinguished
personages, marched into cantonments in Normandy.

[Sidenote: 1816]

The regiment, having been selected to form part of the army of
occupation, was placed in brigade with the Eighteenth Hussars under
Major-General Sir Hussey Vivian, and while stationed at Fruges, it
assembled on the memorable field of Agincourt, where the Waterloo
medals were presented to the officers and soldiers. In May, 1816,
the regiment marched to Desvres, (Pas-de-Calais,) where the depôt
squadron joined from England, and information was received, that
His Royal Highness the Prince Regent had approved of the regiment
being armed and equipped as a corps of "LANCERS;" a detachment was,
consequently, sent to England to learn the use of the LANCE.

In October the regiment was reviewed, with the British, Saxon,
and Danish contingents of the army of occupation, by their Royal
Highnesses the Dukes of Kent and Cambridge.

[Sidenote: 1817]

As a further reward for its conduct on all occasions, the royal
authority was granted, in March, 1817, for the regiment being
same time the color of the facings was changed from yellow to
scarlet, and the lace from silver to gold.

[Sidenote: 1818]

In the autumn of this year the regiment was reviewed, with the
army of occupation, near Valenciennes, by the King of Prussia and
several princes and nobles; and in the autumn of 1818 the Russian,
British, Danish, Saxon, and Hanoverian contingents, were reviewed
by the Emperor of Russia, King of Prussia, Prince of Orange, and
the Grand Dukes Constantine and Michael.

After this review, the army of occupation was withdrawn from
France; the TWELFTH Royal Lancers embarked at Calais on the 10th
of November, landed at Dover on the following day, and proceeded
from thence to Chichester and Arundel. At the end of November they
marched to Staines, and were on duty at the funeral of Her Majesty
Queen Charlotte. They subsequently proceeded to Canterbury, and
furnished detachments to Hythe and Deal.

[Sidenote: 1819]

On the 21st January, 1819, Captain Alexander Barton was promoted,
with other officers, to the rank of major in the army, for
distinguished conduct in the field, while on service in the
Peninsula, upon the recommendation of Field-Marshal the Duke of

[Sidenote: 1820]

In the summer of 1819, the regiment was removed to Hounslow and
Hampton-court, and was reviewed by His Royal Highness the Prince
Regent. In August, 1820, it embarked at Bristol for Ireland, and
after landing at Waterford, the head-quarters were stationed at

Colonel the Honorable F. C. Ponsonby exchanged to the half-pay, and
was succeeded by Lieut.-Colonel T. W. Brotherton, who had served
with distinguished gallantry in the Fourteenth Light Dragoons
during the Peninsular war, and who assumed the command of the
regiment in October of this year.

[Sidenote: 1821]

From Cahir the regiment marched, in the spring of 1821, to Dublin,
where it was stationed when King George IV. visited Ireland, and
took part in the duties required on that occasion.

[Sidenote: 1822]

[Sidenote: 1823]

[Sidenote: 1824]

After remaining at Dublin a year, the TWELFTH Royal Lancers
marched into the Connaught district, with their head-quarters
at Ballinrobe, from whence they were removed, in May, 1823, to
Cork; and in July, 1824, the regiment embarked at Waterford for
England, landed at Bristol, and marched from thence to Brighton and

[Sidenote: 1825]

General Sir William Payne, Baronet, was removed to the Third
Dragoon Guards, and was succeeded in the colonelcy of the TWELFTH
Royal Lancers by Major-General Sir Colquhoun Grant, K.C.B., K.C.H.,
by commission dated the 2nd of June, 1825.

In the summer of this year the regiment marched to the vicinity of
London, and was reviewed, with the Household Brigade, First and
Second Dragoon Guards, Scots Greys, Seventh Hussars, and a brigade
of artillery, on Hounslow-heath, on the 28th of June, by His Royal
Highness the Duke of York, who was accompanied by the Dukes of
Cambridge and Sussex.

[Sidenote: 1826]

From London the regiment marched to Coventry, Birmingham, and
Abergavenny; and in April, 1826, it was removed to Hounslow and

While the regiment was employed in the escort duty, commotions
took place in Portugal, where a constitution had been conferred
on the people, which gave them privileges previously unknown in
that country; at the same time they were menaced by an invasion
from Spain. In consequence of an application from the Portuguese
government, a body of British troops was sent to Lisbon, and four
troops of the TWELFTH Royal Lancers, commanded by Major Barton,
(Colonel Brotherton being on leave of absence,) embarked at
Portsmouth in December, and landed at Lisbon in January, 1827.

[Sidenote: 1827]

On the 22nd of January Major-General Sir Colquhoun Grant was
removed to the Fifteenth Hussars, and the colonelcy of the regiment
was conferred on Major-General Sir Hussey Vivian, K.C.B., G.C.H.

The two squadrons in Portugal were stationed for several weeks at
Belem, from whence they marched to Alhandra, and Alverca, and one
troop was attached to the brigade of Foot Guards at Cartaxo. They
proceeded to Torres Novas in March, retired to the vicinity of
Lisbon in July, and subsequently occupied the barracks at Luz.

Lieut.-Colonel Brotherton exchanged to the half-pay, and was
succeeded by Lieut.-Colonel Stawell, who joined the service troops
in Portugal, and assumed the command of the regiment in September
of this year at Luz.

[Sidenote: 1828]

In these quarters the TWELFTH Royal Lancers remained until the
spring of 1828, when the British troops were withdrawn from
Portugal; the regiment embarked from Lisbon on the 12th of March,
landed at Ramsgate on the 26th, and joined the depôt troops at
Canterbury on the following day.

[Sidenote: 1829]

Leaving Canterbury in April, 1829, the regiment commenced its march
for Scotland, and after short halts at London and York, arrived at
Piershill-barracks, Edinburgh, on the 12th of May; one squadron
being stationed at Glasgow.

[Sidenote: 1830]

In April, 1830, the regiment embarked at Port Patrick for Ireland,
landed at Donaghadee, and marched from thence to Dublin.

In this year orders were received to resume wearing scarlet

[Sidenote: 1831]

[Sidenote: 1832]

[Sidenote: 1833]

The head-quarters were removed to Newbridge in June, 1831, to Cork
in April, 1832, and in the spring of 1833 the regiment marched to
Dublin, where it embarked for England; it landed at Liverpool in
the middle of April, and proceeded from thence to Manchester.

Previous to the embarkation of the regiment from Dublin, a
dinner was given, at the Royal Hospital, to the whole of the
non-commissioned officers and privates, and to their wives and
children, by their colonel, Lieut.-General SIR HUSSEY VIVIAN,
Baronet, who was then commander of the forces in Ireland, as a
testimony of his approbation of the good conduct and efficient
services of the regiment. On his advancement to the dignity of LORD
VIVIAN, in 1841, he chose for one of his supporters "A bay horse,
guardant, caparisoned, thereon mounted a Lancer of the TWELFTH, or
Prince of Wales's, Royal Regiment of Lancers, habited, armed, and
accoutred, supporting his lance, proper."

[Sidenote: 1834]

[Sidenote: 1835]

[Sidenote: 1836]

From Manchester, the regiment marched in May, 1834, to Birmingham;
leaving this station in April, 1835, it proceeded to Dorchester,
and in the spring of 1836, to Coventry.

[Sidenote: 1837]

On the removal of Lieut.-General Sir Hussey Vivian to the Royal
Dragoons, he was succeeded in the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Royal
Lancers by Lieut.-General Sir Henry John Cumming, K.C.H., by
commission dated the 20th of January, 1837.

From Coventry the regiment marched, in May, 1837, to Hounslow.

On the 28th September the Twelfth Royal Lancers, with the First
Life Guards, and Grenadier Guards, were reviewed by the Queen in
the Home Park, Windsor, being the first troops reviewed by Her
Majesty after her accession to the throne; and on the 9th November
the regiment had the honor of escorting Her Majesty on her visit to
the City of London.

[Sidenote: 1838]

On the 28th of June, 1838, the regiment was on duty at the
coronation of Her Majesty the Queen Victoria. It is a singular
coincidence, that three of the cavalry regiments, which
attended the coronation of Her Majesty, were commanded by
lieutenant-colonels who served together in the TWELFTH Light
Dragoons at the battle of Waterloo, viz.:--

  Lieut.-Colonel Stawell     Twelfth Royal Lancers,

  Lieut.-Colonel Chatterton  Fourth Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, and

  Lieut.-Colonel Vandeleur   Tenth Royal Hussars.

Colonel Stawell, and the officers commanding the other regiments,
which attended this august ceremony, had the honor of having a gold
medal presented to them by command of Her Majesty.

On the 9th of July the TWELFTH Royal Lancers were reviewed, with
a number of other corps, in Hyde Park by Her Majesty; they
subsequently marched to Brighton, where they were stationed in 1839.

[Sidenote: 1839]

On the 28th December of this year, Colonel His Royal Highness The
Prince George of Cambridge, was, by authority of Her Majesty,
attached to the TWELFTH Royal Lancers, and authorised to wear the
uniform of the regiment. The Prince joined in February, 1840, and
continued to do duty with the regiment for two years[7].

[Sidenote: 1840]

Leaving Brighton in June, 1840, the regiment proceeded to
Liverpool, where it embarked for Ireland.

[Sidenote: 1841]

The regiment has since continued in the garrison of Dublin, and
remains on that duty at the period of the termination of this

[Sidenote: 1842]

In 1842 the regiment was again clothed in _blue_.

The Historical Record of THE TWELFTH ROYAL LANCERS, as given in
the preceding pages, which is confirmed by the testimony of the
highest military commanders, under whom the regiment has served,
sufficiently proves the value of this corps to the crown, and that
it has, on all occasions, either in conflict with a foreign enemy,
or in patient endurance, when domestic disturbances have required
its services, fulfilled its duties with honor, and with advantage
to the country.

The distinguished conduct of the regiment in EGYPT; its gallant
bearing and _esprit de corps_ during the PENINSULAR WAR; the
noble and daring charge made by the corps, on a column of French
infantry, at the battle of WATERLOO, on the 18th of June, 1815,
with the heroic manner in which it led the attack of the right
wing, at the close of the action, have established the character of
the regiment, and proved its merit of the honors which have been
conferred on it by royal authority.


[1] The colonel and lieut.-colonel of the TWELFTH Light Dragoons.

[2] Some of the officers proceeded to Rome, and had the honor of
being introduced to the Pope, who received them in a very gracious
manner, and taking a helmet into his hand, ejaculated a wish "that
Heaven would enable the cause of truth and religion to triumph
over injustice and infidelity," and he then placed it on Captain
Browne's head.

[3] About three hundred men were mounted in the first instance, and
three hundred more at a subsequent period.

[4] The following is a description of the Column erected by
General R. Browne Clayton, K.C., D.C.L. and F.S.A. on the Rick of
Carrig-a-Dagon, county of Wexford, Ireland, the estate of 3,000
statute acres, bestowed on him by his father in 1801.

_Height of Column, 94 feet, 3 inches._

"This Column is to commemorate the conquest of Egypt, and the
events of the Campaign under the command of General Sir Ralph
Abercromby, K.B., in the year 1801, when General Browne Clayton
(then Lieut.-Colonel) commanded the 12th Light Dragoons, and
afterwards commanded the Cavalry in pursuit of the Enemy to Grand
Cairo, taking, besides other Detachments, a Convoy in the Lybian
Desert, composed of 600 French Cavalry, Infantry, and Artillery,
commanded by Colonel Cavalier, together with Bonaparte's celebrated
Dromedary Corps, one four-pounder, and one stand of colors, and
capturing 300 horses and dromedaries, and 500 camels. The events
of this Campaign are further to be commemorated by the appointment
of Trustees, under the will of General B. Clayton, who shall
annually at sun-rise on the morning of the 21st of March (when the
French, under the command of General Menou, attacked the British
Encampment, before Alexandria) raise the Standard on the Column,
and hoist the tricolor French flag, which shall remain until the
hour of ten o'clock, when the British Flag shall be hoisted and
kept up until sunset, as a Memorial of the Defeat of the French,
which event forms the prelude of Britannia's Triumphs, through a
regular and unbroken series of Glory and Prosperity down to the
Battle of Waterloo in 1815; and on the 28th March, annually, the
British Flag shall be hoisted half-standard high, as a Memorial of
the Death of the brave Commander-in-Chief Sir Ralph Abercromby, who
died of the wounds which he received before Alexandria, on the 21st
March, 1801."

[5] Colonel Ponsonby's groom, an old soldier, who was in the rear
with a led horse, rushed forward, with tears in his eyes, and
continued to search for his master, regardless of his own danger,
until he was driven away by the French skirmishers.

[6] HON. FREDERICK CAVENDISH PONSONBY, second son of Frederick
third earl of Besborough, was appointed cornet in the Tenth Light
Dragoons in 1800, and rose in 1803 to the rank of captain in the
same corps, from which he exchanged to the Sixteenth Light Dragoons
in 1806. In 1807 he was appointed major in the Twenty-third Light
Dragoons, at the head of which corps he distinguished himself
at the battle of Talavera in 1809; and in 1810 he was promoted
to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the regiment. In 1811 he served
under Lieutenant-General Graham, at Cadiz: and at the battle of
Barossa, in March of that year, he attacked, with a squadron of
German dragoons, the French cavalry covering the retreat, overthrew
them, took two guns, and even attempted, though vainly, to sabre
Rousseau's battalions. On the 11th of June, 1811, he was appointed
lieutenant-colonel of the Twelfth Light Dragoons, at the head of
which corps he served under Lord Wellington, and distinguished
himself, in April, 1812, at Llerena, in one of the most brilliant
cavalry actions during the war. At the battle of Salamanca he
charged the French infantry, broke his sword in the fight, and
his horse received several bayonet wounds. He repeatedly evinced
great judgment, penetration, and resolution in out-post duty, and
was wounded, in the retreat from Burgos, on the 13th of October,
1812. At the battle of Vittoria he again distinguished himself: his
services at Tolosa, St. Sebastian, and Nive were also conspicuous;
and, on the King's birth-day, in 1814, he was promoted to the rank
of colonel in the army. He commanded the Twelfth Light Dragoons at
the battle of Waterloo, where he led his regiment to the charge
with signal intrepidity. His services were rewarded with the
following marks of royal favour:--Knight companion of the order
of the Bath,--Knight grand cross of the order of St. Michael and
St. George,--Knight commander of the Hanoverian Guelphic order,--a
cross,--a Waterloo medal,--Knight of the Tower and Sword of
Portugal,--and Knight of Maria Theresa of Austria. In 1824 he was
appointed inspecting field-officer in the Ionian islands; in 1825
he was promoted to the rank of major-general; he was removed to
the staff at Malta, and retained the command of the troops in that
island until May, 1835, in which year he obtained the colonelcy
of the Eighty-sixth Regiment, from which he was removed to the
Royal Dragoons, in 1836. He was an ornament to his profession. In
him, great military talent was united with the most chivalrous
bravery,--calm judgment,--cool decision,--resolute action,--and
modest deportment. He died on the 11th of January, 1837.

[7] (Copy.)

  _Horse Guards, 28th December, 1839._


I have the honor, by direction of the General Commanding-in-Chief,
to acquaint you, that Her Majesty has been pleased to approve
of Colonel His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge being
attached to the TWELFTH Royal Lancers, and permitted to wear the
uniform of that regiment without holding a commission in it.

  I have, &c.,
  (Signed)      JOHN MACDONALD,

  _Officer Commanding Twelfth
  Royal Lancers, Brighton._







_Appointed 22nd July, 1715_.

PHINEAS BOWLES served in the wars of Queen Anne, and succeeded,
in July, 1705, Colonel Caulfield, in the command of a regiment
of foot, with which he proceeded from Ireland to the relief of
Barcelona, when that fortress was besieged by the French and
Spanish forces under Philip, Duke of Anjou. He subsequently served
in Spain under Archduke Charles, afterwards emperor of Germany;
and his regiment distinguished itself at the battle of Saragossa
in 1710, but was surrounded, and made prisoners in the mountains
of Castille in December following. At the peace of Utrecht this
regiment was disbanded, and he remained unemployed until the summer
of 1715, when he was commissioned to raise a regiment of dragoons,
now the TWELFTH ROYAL LANCERS. He was removed in 1719 to the Eighth
Dragoons, which he retained until his decease in 1722.


_Appointed 23rd March, 1719_.

This officer entered the army in the reign of Queen Anne, and
served the campaigns of 1710 and 1711, under the celebrated John
Duke of Marlborough. He was also employed in suppressing the
rebellion of the Earl of Mar in 1715 and 1716, and was promoted in
1719 to the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Dragoons. He was promoted to
the rank of brigadier-general in 1735, to that of major-general
in 1739, and was removed to the Seventh Horse, now Sixth Dragoon
Guards, in 1740. He died in 1749.


_Appointed 20th December, 1740_.

ALEXANDER ROSE obtained a commission in the army on the 5th of
May, 1704; he served several campaigns under the great Duke of
Marlborough, and afterwards rose to the lieut.-colonelcy of the
Fifth, the Royal Irish, Dragoons, from which he was promoted, in
May, 1740, to the colonelcy of the Twentieth regiment of Foot. In
December following he was removed to the TWELFTH Dragoons. His
decease occurred in 1743, before he had attained any higher rank
than that of colonel.


_Appointed 14th June, 1743_.

SAMUEL WALTER WHITSHED entered the army in August, 1704, and
served in the war of the Spanish succession under the Earl of
Galway and Archduke Charles of Austria. King George II. promoted
him to the lieut.-colonelcy of the Eighth Dragoons, and in
December, 1740, to the colonelcy of the Thirty-ninth regiment of
Foot. In 1743 he was removed to the TWELFTH Dragoons, the command
of which corps he retained until the spring of 1746, when he was
succeeded by Brigadier-General Thomas Bligh.


_Appointed 6th April, 1746_.

This officer entered the army in the reign of King George I.; rose
to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the Sixth Horse, now Fifth
Dragoon Guards, and in December, 1740, he was appointed colonel
of the Twentieth regiment of Foot. On the 27th of May, 1745, he
was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general; was removed to the
TWELFTH Dragoons in the following year, and promoted to the rank
of major-general in 1747. He was removed to the colonelcy of the
Second Irish Horse in December of the same year, and was promoted
to the rank of lieutenant-general in 1754.

War having commenced between Great Britain and France in 1756,
Lieutenant-General Bligh was appointed, in 1758, to the command
of an expedition designed to make a descent on the coast of
France, with the view of causing a diversion in favour of the army
commanded by Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. The fleet
sailed in the beginning of August, and in seven days arrived in
Cherbourg roads. The troops were landed, the town of Cherbourg
was captured, the harbour, pier, and forts were destroyed, and
the brass ordnance brought away as trophies of this success. In
September a landing was effected on the coast of Brittany with the
view of besieging St. Maloes, but this being found impracticable,
the troops, after marching a short distance up the country,
retired, and re-embarked at the bay of St. Cas. The enemy advanced
in great numbers under the command of the Duke of Aguillon, and
attacking the rear of the British army, occasioned great loss.
Lieutenant-General Bligh was much censured for his conduct on this
occasion, and soon after the return of the expedition, he retired
from the service.


_Appointed 22nd December, 1747_.

JOHN MORDAUNT entered the army in August, 1721, and after a
progressive service of several years he was appointed captain and
lieut.-colonel in the Third Foot Guards. In January, 1741, he was
promoted to the colonelcy of the Fifty-eighth (now Forty-seventh)
Foot, and in June, 1745, he obtained the rank of brigadier-general.
He commanded a brigade of infantry at the disastrous battle of
Falkirk, fought on the 17th of January, 1746, and his distinguished
conduct was commended by Lieut.-General Hawley, in his public
despatches. He also held an appointment in the army commanded by
His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, and was sent in pursuit
of the rebels from Stirling, with two regiments of dragoons and
the Campbell Highlanders. At the battle of Culloden he commanded
a brigade of infantry, and gained additional reputation; and
he also signalized himself at the battle of Val in 1747. His
meritorious conduct was rewarded, in the autumn of the same year,
with the rank of major-general; he was also appointed colonel of
the TWELFTH Dragoons in December; and was removed in July, 1749,
to the Fourth Irish Horse (now Seventh Dragoon Guards), and in
November following to the Tenth Dragoons. He was promoted to the
rank of lieut.-general in 1754, and to that of general in 1770. He
was also rewarded with the dignity of a knight companion of the
most honorable military order of the Bath, and the government of
Berwick. He died at Bevis-mount, near Southampton, on the 23rd of
October, 1780, at the age of eighty-three years.


_Appointed 24th July, 1749_.

THE HONORABLE JAMES CHOLMONDELEY, third son of George, second
Earl of Cholmondeley, was appointed guidon and major in the first
troop, now first regiment, of Life Guards, in 1725; in 1731 he
was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and lieut.-colonel in the
third troop of Life Guards; and in 1741 he obtained the colonelcy
of a newly-raised regiment, which was numbered the Forty-ninth,
now Forty-eighth, Foot, from which he was removed in 1742, to the
Thirty-fourth regiment. Accompanying his regiment to Flanders,
in 1744, he served the campaign of that year under Field-Marshal
Wade. He was at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745, and was afterwards
promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. On the breaking out of
the rebellion in Scotland, he returned to England with a brigade
of infantry, and afterwards took the charge of two battalions
recently arrived from Ireland, with which he joined the army in
Yorkshire under Field-Marshal Wade. On the flight of the rebels
from Derby, he was detached to Scotland, and signalised himself
in a most conspicuous manner at the battle of Falkirk on the 17th
of January, 1746; but the excessive fatigue he underwent, with
continued exposure to severe weather, deprived him of the use of
his limbs for some time. In 1747 he was promoted to the rank of
major-general, and was removed in 1749 to the TWELFTH Dragoons. In
November of the same year he was removed to the third Irish Horse,
now Sixth Dragoon Guards, and in 1750, to the Sixth Dragoons. In
1754 he was promoted to the rank of lieut.-general, and he was many
years lieut.-governor of Chester. He died in 1775.


_Appointed 1st November, 1749_.

LORD GEORGE SACKVILLE, youngest son of his Grace the Duke of
Dorset, choosing a military life, entered the army in 1737, and was
promoted to the lieut.-colonelcy of the Twenty-eighth Foot in 1740.
His distinguished behaviour at the head of his regiment at the
battle of Dettingen, recommended him to the notice of King George
II., and his lordship was shortly afterwards rewarded with the
rank of colonel, and appointed one of His Majesty's aides-de-camp.
Continuing to serve on the continent, he distinguished himself
at the battle of Fontenoy, where he was shot in the breast.
His lordship was also employed under the Duke of Cumberland, in
suppressing the rebellion in Scotland, and was promoted, in 1746,
to the colonelcy of the Twentieth Foot. He served the campaigns
of 1747 and 1748, on the continent; and was removed, in 1749, to
the TWELFTH Dragoons, from which he was removed, in 1750, to the
Third Irish Horse, or Carabineers; he was also appointed secretary
of state for Ireland. In 1757 he was removed to the Second Dragoon
Guards, and appointed lieut.-general of ordnance, and in 1758 he
was sworn a member of the privy council. He was second in command
of the expedition to the coast of France, under Charles Duke of
Marlborough; also, second in command of the troops sent to Germany;
and, after the Duke of Marlborough's decease, his lordship was
appointed commander-in-chief of the British troops in Germany,
under Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. Owing to some misunderstanding
with his serene highness at the battle of Minden, his lordship
returned to England, and was, shortly afterwards, deprived of his
military employments. He was endowed with extraordinary talents as
a statesman, and he filled, subsequently to this unpleasant affair,
some of the highest offices in the administration. He assumed, by
act of parliament, the surname of Germaine; and, in February, 1782,
he was elevated to the peerage by the titles of Baron Bolebrook,
and VISCOUNT SACKVILLE. He died in 1785.


_Appointed 18th January, 1750_.

SIR JOHN WHITEFOORD, of Blairquan, a Baronet of Nova Scotia,
having served in the subordinate commissions several years, was
promoted to the majority of the Sixth Dragoons in 1743, and served
with his regiment in the Netherlands. He was subsequently promoted
to the lieut.-colonelcy of the Thirty-fifth Foot, and in January,
1750, he was appointed colonel of the TWELFTH Dragoons. He was
promoted to the rank of major-general in 1758, and to that of
lieut.-general in 1760. He died at Edinburgh on the 1st of March,


_Appointed 17th March, 1763_.

This officer held a commission many years in the Sixth Dragoons,
with which corps he served at the battles of Dettingen, Fontenoy,
and Val. In 1754 he was promoted to the lieut.-colonelcy of the
regiment, and proceeding to Germany in the summer of 1758, he was
present at nearly every general engagement and skirmish in which
British cavalry were employed, during the remainder of the seven
years' war, and on several occasions he commanded a brigade of
heavy dragoons: he was twice wounded, viz.: at Wetter, in August,
1759, where he surprised a French corps, and took many prisoners,
and at Campen, in October, 1760. In 1763 he was rewarded with
the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Dragoons, and was removed, in the
following year, to the Third Irish Horse, or Carabineers. He
was promoted to the rank of major-general in 1762; to that of
lieut.-general in 1772; and in 1775 he was removed to the colonelcy
of the Sixth Dragoons, which he retained until his decease in 1778.


_Appointed 20th September, 1764_.

BENJAMIN CARPENTER was many years an officer in the second troop,
now second regiment, of Life Guards, in which corps he was
appointed major in 1749, and lieut.-colonel in 1757. He did not
serve abroad, but he was celebrated for a punctilious attention
to all his duties, and being repeatedly employed in attendance
on the court as ivory stick and silver stick in waiting, he
obtained the favour and approbation of King George II., and also
of King George III., who promoted him to the rank of colonel, and
appointed him aide-de-camp to the King, in a few days after His
Majesty's accession to the throne. He was promoted to the rank of
major-general in July, 1762, and two years after the King gave him
the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Dragoons, from which he was removed in
1770, to the Fourth, the King's Own, Dragoons. He was promoted to
the rank of lieut.-general in 1772, and to that of general in 1783.
He died in 1788.


_Appointed 24th October, 1770_.

WILLIAM AUGUSTUS PITT was appointed in February, 1744, cornet
in the Tenth Dragoons, in which corps he rose to the rank of
lieut.-colonel; he commanded the regiment in Germany, under
Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, and distinguished himself on
several occasions, particularly at the battle of Campen, on the
15th of October, 1760, where he was wounded and taken prisoner.
He was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1762, and to that of
major-general in August, 1770; in October following he was rewarded
with the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Light Dragoons; and in 1775 he
was removed to the Third Irish Horse, or Carabineers. In 1777 he
was promoted to the rank of lieut.-general, and in 1780 he was
removed to the Tenth Dragoons. He was created a knight of the
most honorable order of the Bath in 1792; promoted to the rank of
general in 1793; appointed governor of Portsmouth in 1794; and
removed to the First Dragoon Guards in 1796. He died in 1810.


_Appointed 18th October, 1775_.

THE HONORABLE WILLIAM KEPPEL, fourth son of William-Anne, second
Earl of Albemarle, was gentleman of the horse to King George II.,
and an officer of the first foot guards, in which corps he attained
the rank of captain and lieut.-colonel on the 28th of April, 1751.
In 1760 he was nominated second major of that regiment with the
rank of colonel; and in 1761 he succeeded Lord Charles Manners in
the colonelcy of the Fifty-sixth foot, with which he embarked with
the armament fitted out against the Havannah, in the island of
Cuba, having the rank of major-general in the expedition. On the
surrender of the Havannah he took possession of fort La Punta, and
when his eldest brother, George, third Earl of Albemarle, sailed
for Europe, he was left in command at the Havannah, which city he
delivered to the Spaniards after the conclusion of a treaty of
peace in 1763. In 1765 he was removed to the Fourteenth Foot; in
1772 he was promoted to the rank of lieut.-general; in 1773 he was
commander-in-chief in Ireland; and was removed in 1775, to the
colonelcy of the TWELFTH Light Dragoons, which he retained until
his decease in 1782.


_Appointed 18th March, 1782_.

THE HONORABLE LANE PARKER, second son of George, second Earl of
Macclesfield, served many years in the first foot guards, in which
corps he attained the rank of lieutenant and captain in 1749;
captain and lieut.-colonel in 1755; he was promoted to the rank of
colonel in 1762, and to that of major-general in 1770; in which
year he was appointed second major of the regiment. In 1773 King
George III. gave him the colonelcy of the twentieth regiment, and
promoted him to the rank of lieut.-general in 1777. In 1782 he was
removed to the colonelcy of the TWELFTH Light Dragoons, and he
retained this appointment until his decease in 1791.


_Appointed 9th November, 1791_.

JAMES STEUART received a military education in Germany, and at
sixteen years of age King George III. presented him with a cornetcy
in the royal dragoons, his commission bearing the date the 17th
of March, 1761. He served the campaign of that and the following
year with the regiment in Germany; was at the battles of Kirch,
Denkern and Groebenstein, and took part in several skirmishes.
In 1763 he purchased a company in the Queen's royal highlanders,
and that corps being disbanded soon afterwards, he improved his
knowledge of the military profession by travelling in France and
Germany. In 1766 he purchased a troop in the second Irish horse,
now fifth dragoon guards; in 1769 he was appointed aide-de-camp to
the lord-lieutenant of Ireland (Lord Townshend): and in 1772 he
obtained the majority of the thirteenth dragoons, from which he
was removed, in 1775, to the first Irish horse, now fourth dragoon
guards. In 1776, he was nominated to the lieutenant-colonelcy of
the thirteenth dragoons, and having brought that regiment into an
excellent state of discipline and efficiency, he was rewarded with
the rank of colonel in 1782; in 1783 his regiment was constituted
a corps of light cavalry. In 1788 detachments from the cavalry
regiments in Ireland were assembled at Dublin, and placed under his
command, for the purpose of forming an improved system of interior
economy, discipline, and field movements for the cavalry; his
labours were honored with the approbation of his sovereign, and
his systems, particularly his field movements, having been more
completely defined and arranged by Sir David Dundas, were adopted
for the cavalry. His services were rewarded in 1791 with the
colonelcy of the TWELFTH Light Dragoons; and having been promoted
to the rank of major-general in 1793, he was placed on the staff of
Scotland, and appointed to superintend the formation and discipline
of the fencible cavalry in that country, which was encamped under
his orders in the summers of 1795, 1796, and 1797. In the autumn
of 1797 he was promoted to the local rank of lieut.-general in
Ireland, and appointed to the command of the southern district of
that kingdom, which district was, by his excellent arrangements,
preserved during the rebellion of 1798, in a state of tranquillity
not known in any other part of Ireland. He was rewarded with the
rank of lieut.-general, in June, 1798; and after the suppression
of the rebellion, he resigned his appointment on the Irish staff.
In 1803 he was promoted to the rank of general; and in 1815 he
obtained the colonelcy of the Scots greys; he was also honored with
the dignity of knight grand cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic
Order. His rank and age prevented him from participating in the
active measures which led to the wonderful military successes
from the recommencement of the war in 1803 to its termination in
1815. He represented in parliament his native county (Lanark)
for many years; his mansion at Coltness was proverbial as the
seat of kindness and hospitality; and his time, his talents, and
his property, were dedicated to the improvement of the district
around him. For several years he bore the sirname of Denham; but
afterwards discontinued it. He lived to be the eldest general and
the oldest soldier in the British army; and died at Cheltenham, on
the 5th of August, 1839, at the advanced age of ninety-five.


_Appointed 12th January, 1815_.

SIR WILLIAM PAYNE first entered the army, as cornet in the royal
dragoons, on the 25th of January, 1776; and having served in the
subordinate commissions, was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the
regiment in 1794. He served in the Netherlands under his Royal
Highness the Duke of York, and was present at the principal actions
during the campaign of 1794. In 1796 he was removed from the
lieutenant-colonelcy of the royal dragoons to the third dragoon
guards; in 1798 he was promoted to the rank of colonel in the army;
and in 1805 he was removed to the tenth light dragoons. He was
promoted to the rank of major-general in the same year, and served
four years on the staff in Ireland. In November, 1807, he obtained
the colonelcy of the twenty-third light dragoons; and in 1809, he
proceeded to Portugal with the local rank of lieutenant-general,
and served the campaign of that year under Sir Arthur Wellesley.
He took an active part in the operations by which the French were
driven from Oporto; and commanded the British cavalry at the
memorable battle of Talavera, fought on the 27th and 28th of July,
1809, for which he received a medal. He was promoted to the rank
of lieutenant-general on the 4th of June, 1811; was removed from
the twenty-third to the nineteenth light dragoons in July, 1814,
and to the TWELFTH Light Dragoons in January, 1815. He was further
advanced to the rank of general on the 27th of May, 1825, and, in
the following month, he obtained the colonelcy of the third dragoon
guards. He died in April, 1831.


_Appointed 2nd June, 1825_.

This officer was appointed ensign of the thirty-sixth foot in
1793, and joined his regiment at Trichinopoly immediately after
his appointment. In 1797 he exchanged to the twenty-fifth light
dragoons, with which corps he served the Mysore campaign, and was
at the taking of Seringapatam. In 1800 he was appointed captain
in the ninth dragoons; and he was promoted to the majority of the
twenty-eighth light dragoons in the following year. In 1802 he
obtained the lieut.-colonelcy of the seventy-second foot, which
regiment he commanded at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope in
1806, and was wounded; "but the heroic spirit of this officer
was not subdued by his misfortune, and he continued to lead his
men to glory, as long as an enemy was opposed to his Majesty's
seventy-second regiment[8]." In 1808 he exchanged to the fifteenth,
the King's Hussars. He commanded the fifteenth in Spain in 1808,
and highly distinguished himself at Sahagun, where he was wounded,
and he was rewarded with a gold medal. In 1811 he was appointed
aide-de-camp to the Prince Regent, and promoted to the rank of
colonel. He embarked with his regiment for the Peninsula in 1813;
and commanded the hussar brigade at the action at Morales, where he
was wounded; he also commanded the hussar brigade at the battle of
Vittoria, and was rewarded with an additional honorary distinction.
He subsequently commanded a brigade composed of the thirteenth
and fourteenth light dragoons. On the 4th of June, 1814, he was
promoted to the rank of major-general; he was also honored with
the dignity of a knight commander of the order of the Bath, and in
May, 1815, he was appointed groom of the bedchamber to His Royal
Highness the Duke of Cumberland. At the battle of Waterloo he
commanded a brigade of hussars (seventh and fifteenth British.,
and second hussars King's German Legion), and had several horses
killed under him. His services were further recompensed with the
grand cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order; and he obtained
permission to accept the Orders of Wladimir of Russia, and Wilhelm
of the Netherlands. In 1825 he was appointed colonel of the
Twelfth Royal Lancers, and was removed in 1827, to the Fifteenth
King's Hussars; in July, 1830, he was promoted to the rank of
lieut.-general. He died in December, 1835.

K.C.B., G.C.H.,

_Appointed 22nd January, 1827_.

Removed to the First (Royal) regiment of dragoons, 20th January,


_Appointed 20th January, 1837_.


[8] Major-General Sir David Baird's despatch.



  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example,
  out-post, outpost; foot-guards, foot guards; sirname; shalloon;

  Pg 13, 'without lappels' replaced by 'without lapels'.
  Pg 31, 'and and advanced to' replaced by 'and advanced to'.
  Pg 79, 'colonelcy of the TWELTFH' replaced by 'colonelcy of the

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historical Record of the Twelfth, or The Prince of Wales's Royal Regiment of Lancers - Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in - 1715, and of its subsequent services to 1848." ***

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